One of my goals this year was to compete in a Duathlon and I can now check that off the list
Yesterday I took part in the Charlotte Duathlon and really enjoyed it. The event consisted of a 2 mile trail run followed by a 19 mile bike ride and finished with another 2mile trail run. The trail run was a combination of surfaces, gravel, grass and backwoods. There were lots of twists and turns and soft going made the coarse tougher than it's 2 mile length. I was hoping to run 9:30 mile pace for the first leg and actually timed out at 9:23 I took about a minute and a half in transition and then it was off on the bike ride. It was a very pleasant ride through the countryside, the course was rolling hills and there was no drafting allowed. I managed a very good for me avg of 17.2 mph over the 19 miles and then it was back to transition. I took a long time here, over 2 and a half minutes then started the final run. I immediately ran into trouble with a cramp in my left calf after just a few hundred yards. I had to stop, stretch and massage my calf. I got underway again at a slow jog and within another hundred yards or so I was struck by another cramp this time in my right calf. I had to stop again and then gingerly started to jog again. I'm not sure what caused the cramps but I think it was transitioning from bike to run because after the first mile, I started to increase my speed without discomfort. I grew stronger as the run progressed and finished the last mile in 9:45 pace with the last half mile at 8:50 pace.
Overall I think the cramps cost me about 3 minutes. My overall time was 1hr 49mins good for 98th place out of 128 competitors. My bike ride ranked at 80th place.
There were some amazing athletes competing. The fastest riders were posting 25 mph avgs and the fastest runners at sub 5:40 mile pace, really amazing. I'm glad I did the race and now have an official yardstick to measure future progress. The thought of ever competing in one of these events just a year (and 82lbs) ago would have been a joke but now I can say I actually did it!! Now I have to think about training for the marine corps marathon in Oct.